Meeting Places

Chris standing while we were at Red Rock Canyon

Do you think it odd that right in the middle of the wilderness, God instructed Moses and the Children of Israel to build a mobile Tabernacle? I mean seriously. He just rescued them from centuries of brutal slavery, and they are traveling across the wilderness toward the Promise Land. In the middle of their journey, God effectively added "one more thing" to their overloaded plate. Why would He do that?

I think that He knew they'd been locked in a mental cave. Think about it, the generations coming out of Egypt had never known anything but slavery. They had known oppression, mistreatment, and probably dealt with depression a lot. I suspect they dealt with what we would call PTSD today. Yet, here they are, free and headed toward the land God is giving them, and He has them stop and construct the Tabernacle.

Why? God said that He wanted a place to meet with them. He was getting Egypt, bondage, and the slave mentality out of them and soaking them in His grace and mercy. He wanted a meeting place. That's not really too odd if we think about it. He's created some very interesting meeting places over time.

He met Moses in the backside of the wilderness at the burning bush. He met Jonah in the belly of the whale. Jonah 1:17 says that God prepared a big fish for Jonah. Why? He wanted to create the perfect place for Jonah to repent and meet with Him. These are two very different situations and are caused by very different circumstances. That encourages me to think that God still wants to use meeting places in our lives too. 

If God can create the belly of the whale for Jonah, who disobeyed on purpose and rebelled deliberately, He can meet me in life's deepest darkest places too. God will always have a meeting place for us. It's a place where we can safely pour out our hearts to Him - no matter how good or bad it may feel or sound to us. It's a place where He replaces our fears with His comfort. In that place, He soothes our emotions like no other and heals our wounds - even if they were self-afflicted, like Jonah's.

Sometimes, caregiving can feel like the belly of a whale. It can feel oh so lonely and dark. But God can use it for a meeting place. All we have to do is turn our cries and prayers toward Him. He meets us right there.

Today, I will think about how God goes out of His way to meet me in my caregiver's cave (i.e., the belly of the whale!). My meditations will be on how He always gives grace for the day and prepares mercy for me before I even open my eyes in the mornings. For that, I will give thanks and let it be the catalyst for changing my day. Will you join me?


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